Wikipedia and the imaginary Bicholim Conflict.

The funny part about this story?

For the last five years, those who spend their time procrastinating on Wikipedia could read up on a 17th century war between colonial Portugal and India’s Maratham Empire known as the “Bicholim Conflict.”

The problem is that Bicholim Conflict never happened, and that the entire 4,500-word article on the war was nothing more than an elaborate joke.

As I understand it, publishers of various reference works sometimes do something like this to discourage intellectual property theft; put in deliberately false entries (usually in topic that, realistically, wouldn’t matter anyway) and then demonstrate in court that a rival publisher had ripped off their material.  Wikipedia calls it ‘fictitious entry:’ although I assume that this isn’t actually the case, here.  Still, a good warning that you shouldn’t believe everything on the Internet.

Just the stuff that I write, of course.

5 thoughts on “Wikipedia and the imaginary Bicholim Conflict.”

  1. I know a college prof who posted a Wikipedia biography of a minor state official, whom he made up, then assigned his new class to research the guy. Hilarity, and more importantly HUMILITY, ensued.

    1. Very nice. This should be taught in grade school…and beaten into the skulls in J-skool, but I fear that institution is a lost cause.

  2. There was a Fred Saberhagen berserker story whose plot revolved around that little practice; “The Annihilation of Angkor Apeiron”, IIRC.

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